Tag Archives: fun

Photo Diary of the Past Couple Weeks

22 Aug

Well, good morning and happy Thursday! I’m heading to the beach on Saturday morning for my annual beach trip with friends. I’m pretty excited about the trip, but it’s come at a hectic time in my life, so it’s hard to not be stressed about everything I’m leaving behind — wedding planning, getting the new house together, and work. But, I’m going to try to relax and enjoy the trip! If you’ve been reading for a while (or you know me), you’ll know that this trip is when Zach proposed to me last year, so it will be fun to celebrate the one year anniversary of our engagement at the beach before our wedding next month (!!!).

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

Eating

I’ve been loving the fresh produce available in the summer time. This morning I had the most perfect peach ever on the side of my usual breakfast of a sausage/egg scramble, tomato and coffee:

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That sliced tomato wasn’t too shabby either.

Last weekend, after the Crossfit competition, Zach and I went to the first “Rails and Ales Festival” here in Huntington. This is the first time they’ve had a beer festival in downtown Huntington, and it was so fun! When we entered, they gave us a tiny beer mug to sample all the beers. There were also tons of food vendors around, and we couldn’t really decide what to eat until we ran into a friend who had a brat sandwich on this amazing looking bread from the local bakery. We hightailed it over there, and it was one of the best sandwiches I’ve tasted. It had kraut, hot pepper jelly and was served on this amazing homemade cheddar bread. Yum!

rails and ales

 

The other evening, Zach had a late meeting for work so I was on my own for dinner. Our cupboards are kind of bare right now because we are going on vacation, but I had two frozen Tilapia fillets in the freezer and decided to whip up some fish tacos:

fish tacos

 

I’ve never made these before, but after I tasted them, I instantly decided that this would be what I made for everyone at the beach (we all take turns cooking dinner). Holy amazing and easy to make!! I basically just brushed the fish with butter and sprinkled it with my favorite spice blend (Bobby Flay’s 16 spice rub — minus the cinnamon and brown sugar) and broiled it until it was flaky. Then I threw a couple tortillas under the broiler for a few seconds on each side, chopped up some tomatoes, avocado, lettuce and cilantro and served. No salsa necessary (although a nice creme fraiche would probably be nice on top) and it was amazing. I didn’t have any corn tortillas, but next time I’ll use them instead of whole wheat. Yum!

Moving

We finally moved into our new home!

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Last Thursday, we rented a Uhaul and loaded up our little crowded apartment, and with some help from friends (Thanks, Mandee and Susie!!) got everything in and our apartment cleaned out in two days.

Zach had to drive the Uhaul and smile when I took photos.

Zach had to drive the Uhaul and smile when I took photos.

I took the two days off of work (we only paid 1/2 month rent at our apartment, so we had to be out by last Friday), and we worked for probably 20 hours those two days. It was quite a workout! But now we’re all moved in and slowly unpacking:

View from the front door. You can see a couple freeloaders have made themselves quite at home.

View from the front door. You can see a couple freeloaders have made themselves quite at home.

I really like the house! I love having a porch, I’ve been drinking my coffee out there every morning:

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Another thing I love, love about the house is the fact that we are on the very top of a hill, so we have an amazing sunset view:

Seriously, every evening! I'm going to miss this when I come home from work after it's already dark.

Seriously, every evening! I’m going to miss this when I come home from work after it’s already dark.

The one thing I’m not too crazy about is the lack of sidewalks around my neighborhood. Frank and I are big fans of our morning walk, and it’s kind of dicey because a lot of times we have to walk in the street because of the lack of a sidewalk. It also turns out that our street is way busier (especially in the morning) than we thought it would be, because we are right behind the hospital and it seems that the people who work at the rehab center behind the hospital use our street as a through way to get to work. That wouldn’t be so bad, but they go a little fast. I’ve already found myself getting very angry at people who speed up our hill in the mornings. I’m possibly going to contact somebody to see if there is something we can do about getting people to slow down on our street. Maybe that seems silly, but eventually we will have kids, and I would like to walk our kid to school (the elementary school is just down the hill). Right now, it’s a little too dangerous to do that. Does anyone have any suggestions how to go about getting people to slow down in a residential area? 

However, the one thing I do like about walking around our neighborhood is the hills! We are definitely getting more of a workout during our morning walk because of all the hills. I just wish the neighborhood were more walk-friendly.

Lifting Heavy

I’ve definitely been inspired by the Crossfit Competition I participated in last week to really push myself to up my weights at Crossfit. This morning we did the second Open WOD for the WV Crossfit Championship (which I’m not registered for, but it’s still fun to try the WODs).

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Hang clean squat thrusters are a complicated lift to do very heavy, so I decided to start kind of light. Usually I stick with about 45-55# for this lift, so I started with a 35# bar only and worked up from there. The workout was only 5 minutes long, and we had to reload the bar between each lift so I wrote down my planned weights to keep the flow:

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I ended up getting through the 9 lifts at 75#, which was very tough for me. That’s the most I’ve ever done for that lift, and I was proud of my performance. Oh, and in case you are wondering, the 10-9-8….3-2-1 was for burpees, sit ups and push ups. That was a tough one!

Like I said, next week I’ll be at the beach, but I didn’t want to take a full week off of Crossfit, so I scheduled a drop in at the local box in Ocean Isle. Despite being new to Crossfit, I knew it was common to “drop in” to a box if you’re visiting somewhere, so I took a chance and located the local box. I contacted them and they were super nice and welcoming! It cost me $15 to do a drop in class at 9:00 AM on Monday, so I’ll be sure to report back how it went.

Question of the Day:
Are you the type of person who works out while you’re on vacation? 

I personally love to work out while I’m on vacation. It’s a fun way to see the sights and since I’m not working, it is easier to find the time to get a workout in! 

 

My First Crossfit Competition

20 Aug

Good morning!

I have seriously been slacking on the blogging front. With us moving into the new house, vacation and a wedding coming up I’ve been a busy little bee. However, I just had to fire up the old blog to tell you about my first Crossfit competition!

Despite being new to Crossfit, when my box announced that it would host the national “No Baby, Leave the Socks On” competition, I knew I had to try it out. “No Baby, Leave the Socks On!” is a Crossfit competition designed especially for women. From the website:

First we wanted to change the perception of what ladies fitness looks like and help foster a more positive self-image. One where athleticism and capability trumped body weight and promoted the idea that “Strong is the new skinny”.

Second, we wanted it to be a ton of fun!

As I mentioned in my last post, doing Crossfit has turned my focus from what my body looks like to what my body can do. I knew this competition would focus on what us ladies could do in the gym. Did it ever!

socks 1

I woke up Saturday morning and put on my specially-purchased socks (Yay, Burpees!), my new shoes (New Balance Minimus purchased from the outlet store) and headed to the box. I met up with these two awesome ladies, who are also relatively new to Crossfit and very close friends of mine:

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They both also did the scaled competition, and I was SO glad to have them there. We had such a blast. Just for the record, Shannon’s  (on the left) socks said, “Heavy Metal” and Sarah’s said “Bacon” — adorable, right? The atmosphere at the competition was pretty awesome. There were lots of ladies there from various local affiliate boxes, and there were vendors selling various paleo snacks. The energy was high! My adrenaline was pumping like when I’m doing a running race, however, there was a lot more waiting around. The women who were doing the Rx version were first, going in heats.

The first WOD was a Thruster/Box Jump Ladder. Basically, a thruster is a lift where the barbell is in front squat position, and you go from a squat to taking the bar over your head. The Rx version of this workout called for a 65# weight and a full box jump on a 20″ box and the way a ladder works is that you start with 2 reps of each, then go to 4, then 6, and so on. It was pretty inspiring watching the first heat:

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These women were all ages, shapes and sizes and they were busting out the reps. It definitely made me even more pumped (and nervous!) to get to my heat. I was in the second heat of the scaled competition, so I was pretty lucky to have Sarah and Shannon there to cheer me on. The way it worked, once you started your first WOD, you had about 12 minutes to rest before you moved on to the second and third, so there wasn’t much time to go cheer others on while you were competing.

The first WOD went well. The scaled version called for a 45# bar on the thrusters and step ups onto the 20″ box rather than jumps. Coach Jeremy (he is the owner of  my Crossfit box) said that we should jump if we could, because the goal is to do your own personal best, not outdo everyone else in the scaled portion, so I started the ladder with the jumps but after I got to 6 or 8 reps I switched to step ups. I got a little tripped up because on the 4 rep circuit, I did 5 box jumps. Luckily, the girl who was judging me quickly corrected me and when I went to do more box jumps she made me do one less. At one point, Shannon yelled to me that I was stepping up on the same leg every time, and I should alternate so as not to wear myself out. She was right, so I started concentrating on trying to alternate. I ended up getting through the 12 reps and 14 thrusters + 6 step ups, for a total of 104 reps. I feel like I could have done a little better here, but I was pretty nervous.

I hit my stride on the second WOD:

10 minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible):

10 jumping pull ups (the Rx version did full unassisted pull ups)
20 burpees
30 x 3 single unders (the Rx version did 30 double unders)
40 wall balls (10# ball, Rx did 14#)
50 kettlebell swings (26# scaled, 35# Rx)

followed by max effort clean and jerk.

When I had been watching the Rx ladies do this WOD, there was one judge who I definitely had my eye on. A quick note about Crossfit competition judges, each athlete has one and while they are there to make sure you are doing the movements as prescribed, they are also your own personal cheerleader, which is awesome. I can’t even remember her name (ETA: Her name was Shirley, and she’s a coach at Crossfit Yeti, you can find her profile here), but I noticed how great she was at motivating the athletes she was judging, so I made it my goal to try to get her when I got to WOD 2. Luckily, I was able to get over to her quickly when we lined up. This workout was hard. Sarah, Shannon and another girl from our Crossfit box had practiced this WOD a couple weeks ago, so we knew what to expect (I had gotten 11 clean and jerks when we did the practice run through), but it was even harder this time. I definitely attribute my good performance on this WOD to my judge. She pushed me in the best way, and even when I wanted so badly to put the kettlebell down during the swings, I didn’t because I didn’t want to let her down. I ended up doing 13 clean and jerks! My goal was to do one more than the first time I did it, so I exceeded my expectations. 🙂

Sarah busts out her clean and jerks in WOD 2. Sorry for the  blurry picture, she was moving so fast it was hard to get a good one!

Sarah busts out her clean and jerks in WOD 2. Sorry for the blurry picture, she was moving so fast it was hard to get a good one!

Finally, it was time for WOD 3: The deadlift ladder! The way this one worked is that there were 15 bars set up from 65# – 205# (135#-275#(!) for Rx). You had one minute to do one or more lifts at each bar. Your score was the highest weight you lifted and the amount of reps you did, so if you lifted 195 10 times, your score was 195.10, and if you lifted 105 20 times, your score was 105.20. I had never deadlifted more than 165#, so my plan was just to lift what I could! I ended up pretty easily lifting each bar, and when I got to 195#, I lifted it like 3 times. I just didn’t want to get to 205 and not be able to lift the bar at all! However, my fears were unfounded because I was able to lift 205# 4 times for a score of 205.04!

Photo courtesy of the Crossfit Thunder Facebook Page. This girl did Rx (that is 275#), and I know she lifted it quite a few times. Girls rule.

Photo courtesy of the Crossfit Thunder Facebook Page. This girl did Rx (that is 275#), and I know she lifted it quite a few times. Girls rule.

Click here for a video Zach posted on Instagram of my deadlift ladder.

So, my final assessment? Crossfit competitions are fun! I dare say they are more fun than a race. As my friend Sarah said, it’s definitely more physically demanding than a half marathon (she said not more so than a marathon, but I wouldn’t know for sure). For the next day or two after the competition, I was physically spent — I couldn’t get enough food, water, or sleep — so I definitely took a couple days off of Crossfit. I could tell my body needed time to repair, and I didn’t want to overdo it. But it is definitely something I want to do again!

Question of the Day:
Have you ever participated in a competitive sport? 

How Crossfit has Transformed my Body Image

6 Aug

Happy Tuesday!

I hate to be anxious for time to pass more quickly — life is short, people — but, I’m very anxious for the next few weeks to fly by because we have some exciting events coming up! Not only is our wedding in just a month and 22 days, but we move into our new home in just 10 days, and we leave for our annual friends beach trip in just 19 days! What a month August will be for us 🙂

I haven’t really been blogging here lately, mainly because as I mentioned last time I posted, I’m thinking of changing up the format of this blog a tiny bit. However, today I am going to talk a bit about fitness!

Since I’ve joined Crossfit Thunder in July, I’ve noticed some pretty amazing changes in the way I look at food, my weight and my body in general, and I wanted to share that with you today. Prior to joining the Box, I said I would never:

– Join a Crossfit box (I did)
– Eat Paleo (I’ve been trying to keep paleo a bit lately)
– Stop weighing myself daily (I weighed myself this morning for the first time in weeks)

Obviously, I’m eating my own words!

1. Food

Before I started Crossfit, I was constantly eating and/or thinking about food. I was obsessed with it. It really started to weigh on me because I knew I was eating too much, but I was obsessed with getting my next meal. I think I definitely overestimated my caloric needs based on my activity level.

This is a paleo (ish) breakfast spaghetti that I invented yesteday. It was so good! Zucchini "noodles", peppers, onions and ground breakfast sausage topped with spaghetti sauce. Yum!

This is a paleo (ish) breakfast spaghetti that I invented yesteday. It was so good! Zucchini “noodles”, peppers, onions and ground breakfast sausage topped with spaghetti sauce. Yum!

Since I’ve been Crossfitting, I haven’t been nearly as obsessed with food. I’m not really sure why that is, other than I have noticed that I’ve managed to start looking at food for what it is: fuel. I no longer feel the need to snack between each meal – I’ll still have a snack in the pm sometimes, but not nearly as often as I used to. I honestly don’t know if this is due to Crossfit, but it happened right when I started going, so I feel like the connection is valid. I can’t express how exciting it is to me to be able to let go of my food obsession!

2. Weight

I have always been a compulsive scale watcher. Well, always meaning since I’ve lost the majority of my weight. Prior to losing the 70 lbs, I was a compulsive scale avoider! But since I’ve started Crossfit, I’ve completely lost interest in the scale. My goals have changed, and I’m more interested in improving these:

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…than seeing movement on the scale. In fact, I weighed myself this morning and realized that I’m 3 lbs heavier than when I started Crossfit! This realization may have brought me to tears before, but now I’m just assuming that I’ve been building muscle. I know I’m eating well and working out regularly, and that’s all that matters. It helps that I’m wearing a size 6 now, when previously I was in an 8-10!

3. Fitness Goals

One thing that has definitely changed is my fitness goals. Even when I first joined the Box, I was determined to get those miles in running and always, always tracked every mile with my phone. I would never take walking breaks, and I was obsessed with my pace.

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Now, 90% of my runs are with Frank, sans phone or tracking device of any kind, and I let him stop to check out the squirrels whenever he feels like it. My goals are to get stronger and faster, but I realize from doing Crossfit that I don’t have to log a million miles and constantly work out to do that.

4. My Attitude

Exercise has been my hobby for some time now. I’ve always enjoyed it very much, but now, it’s more fun than ever.

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I love looking at the WOD for the next day and saying, “That looks awful! I can’t WAIT to try it!!” It’s so fun trying to out do yourself every week (and I’ll reiterate that I’ve never felt as if I was competing with anyone except myself). Plus, nobody takes themselves too seriously at CFT — you’ll just as often see one of the newbies giving tips to a veteran than the other way around. It just makes sense — you can’t see yourself doing the moves!

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…but just as often as people are being silly, they are being serious. We’re doing Olympic lifts, and it’s easy to get hurt if you’re doing something wrong, so it’s not all fun and games.

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But it’s all about being “Stronger than Yesterday” — not stronger than your neighbor — and having a blast while you do it.

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Question of the Day:

Do you think of exercise as fun, or just a necessity? 

Mondays Get a Bad Rap

28 Jan

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always give Monday the benefit of the doubt.

Waking up to that alarm after two days of waking up naturally is a bummer. Getting out of my warm bed and into the shower, rushing around to get breakfast ready for everyone, pets included, and going out into the cold to head to work for 8 hours after 2 days of doing whatever I want — not fun.

And, also, Mondays are always especially hard at work. Work has built up over the weekend (my workplace is open 7 days a week, so even when I’m not here over the weekend, something ends up on my desk), and there is always a lot of stuff to catch up on.

Here are the 3 things that are making me ready to tackle this Monday, and subsequent week, with a smile:

1. A yummy breakfast: 

breakfast

This weekend wasn’t the best for healthy eating. I tried to stay on track, but I had a few extra beers and a few less-than-perfect meals. Oh well. Loading up on fruit and a bit of whole grains should make up for it. I packed a banana, some yogurt, the bagel and the apple, but I found some leftover fruit in the fridge at work from a program this weekend. Melon isn’t exactly in season, but it was still yummy.

2. A great weekend with friends! 

Zach and I had a great weekend. We got to hang out with friends a lot, and he and I had some great quality time together. It was fabulous 🙂

Zach enjoying a lazy double cat Saturday morning.

Zach enjoying a lazy double cat Saturday morning.

3. A good weekend of fitness! 

Although I was feeling a bit under the weather this weekend, I did manage to get some fitness in. I went to my very first Crossfit class ever! Here was the WOD:

8 minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible):
15 Wall Balls
15 Kettlebell Swings
15 ring pull ups

…8 minutes? That’s it!? Uh, yeah, that was the most intense 8 minutes of my life. The class started out with some intense foam rolling and stretching that my legs definitely needed, then we moved on to learning form with deadlifts. Finally, it was time to do the WOD. My AMRAP? 2. Yep, only 2. But that’s 30 Wall Balls, 30 Kettlebell Swings, and 30 ring pull ups (modified) in 8 minutes. I’m pretty proud of myself, and boy was I sore the next day!

Yesterday, I spent most of the day helping Courtney set up for the Bridal Expo, and attending it myself (I’ll talk more about that in my Wedding Wednesday post this week). Since I didn’t want to spend 7 hours at the Expo, after I helped with set-up, paid my admission and scoped out the vendors, I went home for lunch. When it was about an hour before ending time, I put on my running clothes and went for a run around town, ending at the Civic Center. I helped Courtney and her partner Mark break down their table and then finished my run, ending up at a Yoga for Runner’s class at Studio 8 yoga. I’m not going to go much into that class, because while it was a great class, they were having their one year anniversary and the class was much too packed for my liking. I got there early so I ended up with my mat smack dab in the middle of the studio, packed with other yogis like sardines around me, with no escape route. That really got my anxiety level up, so I didn’t quite enjoy my practice like I usually do.

However, my run put at 14 miles for the week, and 49.62 for the month of January so far. That means I only have to run .4 miles before February 1st to reach my 50 mile goal for the month! Hooray!

This past week's mileage.

This past week’s mileage.

Also, I’m looking forward to my next Crossfit class, tomorrow at 6:15 AM!

There you go! The top 3 reasons I’m not going to let this Monday bring me down!

Question of the Day:
How are you going to avoid letting Monday bring you down? 

 

 

Well Played, Old Navy.

24 Jan

Last week, all of Old Navy’s Active Apparel was 40% off.

Also last week, all my favorite bloggers posted reviews of Old Navy’s Active Apparel.

Well played, Old Navy.

Now, I’ve always been a fan of Old Navy’s workout line. I think it’s high quality and very well priced. My very favorite running capris were purchased at Old Navy and I still wear them, 3 years later, despite the fact that they are too big (I lost some weight between then and now), so I didn’t really need any convincing. But I must offer kudos to ON (as I like to call it) for such a brilliant marketing strategy. I peruse the ON website often and I had seen what they had, but after seeing it reviewed and modeled by some of my favorite bloggers, I was sold.

I dare say a lot of other people were, too, as their weren’t a ton of choices in the colors and sizes I was looking for! However, I managed to find a few things:

tshirt capris

First up: The Women’s Compression Capris in Arctic Depth. I actually already have these in the Carbon color, and the photograph makes them look like that color, but they really are more blue when you put them next to each other. I’m loving these capris! They are snug, they don’t fall down, and they have a wide waist band that doesn’t cut into your sides. The top is the Women’s Slub-Knit GoDRY Tee in Polly-ester Purple. I’ve been much more into tees than tanks lately when I work out, and this one is great. It feels and fits much like my favorite loungey t-shirt, but it’s made with the quick dry material.

Thumbholes

 

Apologies for the blurry photo. I’ve not quite mastered the selfie with my new camera, apparently. Here we have the Women’s Active GoDRY Running Top, featuring thumbholes! Lately, I’ve noticed that built in thumbholes in long-sleeved running tops are all the rage, and I’ve been dying to get something with this feature. I actually have one long-sleeved t-shirt that I use for running quite often that I cut thumbholes into so that I can slip gloves over it, but the built-ins are going to look so much nicer. I got this top in a small. Perhaps I should have gone up a size, since it’s a tiny bit snug, but I’m going to hold on to it. I actually prefer my running clothes to be snug.

bubble tank

Here is the Women’s Striped Bubble Active Tank in Blackjack. My awkward pose above is trying to illustrate the snug waistband of the tank. I am going to love wearing this to yoga!

Not pictured, I also bought a sports bra and some socks. After the 40% off and the rewards points I had from my Old Navy card, I spent $60 total on all of this. Which is about half the price of one pair of pants from Lululemon. I know a lot of Lulu fanatics say that the astronomical prices are worth it because of the quality, but I think the Old Navy clothes are very high quality. Like I mentioned above, all of my Old Navy activewear stays in rotation for quite a long time, and for the price, I won’t feel bad if it needs replaced in a year or less.

I’m super excited to give these clothes a try with a run after work!

Question of the Day:
What’s your favorite brand of activewear? 

 

 

Endorphins Are Real!

9 Jan

Work has been insanity this week. Stressful and frustrating. Add to that some big life changes and setbacks (nothing huge, just in the middle of trying to buy a house and hitting some snags), and you have an unhappy Kristy. 

I overslept this morning, didn’t have time for the gym. Had a really busy day at work, add to that dealing with mortgage documents and stress — I was ready for a run! 

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No matter how upset you are, always choose to fit that workout in. It helps! 

Pet Photo Taking Machine

5 Jan

Well, this should be a fun post.

As you may or may not know, I got a new camera for Christmas (thanks Mommy and Daddy!!!), The Canon PowerShot SX40 HS. I love it so much, but my photographer sister-in-law pokes fun at me and calls it my “Pet photo-taking machine” because instead of teaching myself to use the manual settings, I just take pictures of my cats and her dogs.

So, I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you. Warning: This post will be pretty photo heavy.

Posey, my firstborn cat.

Posey, my firstborn cat.

Penny, my second-born cat

Penny, my second-born cat

Tuscany, the baby and also the largest cat.

Tuscany, the baby and also the largest cat.

Sam, Courtney's 11 year old Coonhound/Rottweiler mix.

Sam, Courtney’s 11 year old Coonhound/Rottweiler mix.

Margot, Courtney's 6-month-old Doberman puppy. I like to call her Batdog. Look at those ears!

Margot, Courtney’s 6-month-old Doberman puppy. I like to call her Batdog. Look at those ears!

I put wrapping paper on Penny. She likes it.

I put wrapping paper on Penny. She likes it. Notice that she is also sitting directly on a Christmas card I was trying to fill out. 

 

More Tuscany

More Tuscany

Here is my friend Mandee's St. Bernard, Atticus. He's glorious.

Here is my friend Mandee’s St. Bernard, Atticus. He’s glorious.

Penny likes to put her paw through the hole in the cat tree.

Penny likes to put her paw through the hole in the cat tree.

So far, all I have on my memory card are pet pictures, some pictures from New Year’s Eve, and a ton of pictures of my new Asics.

Question of the Day:
What is the memory card from your camera filled with pictures of?